Japanese camellia Theaceae Camellia
japonica L. symbol: CAJA9
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, elliptical to ovate, 2 to 5 inches long, pointy tip, finely but sharply serrated, leathery, dark shiny green above, green below.
Flower: Attractive, with numerous rose like petals, color and shape (single, double, etc.) varies with cultivar, colors ranging from red, pink to white, centers with yellow anthers, 3 to 6 inches across, appearing in late fall through early spring.
Fruit: Dry, round, woody capsule 1/2 to 1 inch long (look like small cantaloupes), initially green but ripening in the fall to a light brown, not showy.
Twig: Moderately stout, light brown, glabrous; flower buds quite large (3/4 inch) with imbricate scales, fuzzy greenish brown, vegetative buds much smaller.
Bark: Smooth light brown to gray-brown.
Form: Large multi-branched shrub up to 15 feet.
Additional Range Information: Camellia japonica is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)